The air defense units of Russia’s Southern Military District will be rearmed with advanced S-400 Triumf air defense systems by the end of 2012, a spokesman for the district said on Monday.
The Southern Military District was created in October 2010. It comprises the republics of Adygea, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Kalmykia, Karachay-Cherkessia, North Ossetia, Chechnya, and the Krasnodar, Stavropol, Astrakhan, Volgograd and Rostov regions.
“In line with a plan for the rearmament of the southern Military District, the S-400 air defense systems will be put on combat duty by the end of this year to replace the S-300PM systems,” Col. Igor Gorbul said.
The S-400 Triumph long- to medium-range surface-to-air missile system can effectively engage any aerial target, including aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and cruise and ballistic missiles at a distance of up to 400 kilometers (250 miles) and an altitude of up to 30 kilometers (18.6 miles).
Russia already has four S-400 regiments protecting national airspace around Moscow, in the Far East and in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad.
Gorbul said that the Southern Military District received 16 pieces of new military hardware in 2012, including Pantsir-S (SA-22 Greyhound) short-range gun and missile air defense systems.
Pantsir-S is primarily designed to defend higher ranking air defense systems such as S-300 and S-400.